Monday, December 22, 2014

Vatican City: St. Peter's Basilica

Today felt practically lazy, given all the sites we've seen lately, but today we went back to St. Peter's Basilica and Vatican City, primarily in order to retrieve our tickets for the Christmas Vigil Mass. (I hesitate to call it Midnight Mass, since it starts at 9:30 p.m.). After standing in line for about 90 minutes just to pass through security, we had hoped to take advantage of an audio tour, but by the time we got there, it was too late - or least, for whatever reason, the audio tours weren't being distributed anymore.

From Rome & Vatican City (December 2014)

Instead, we took the time to explore the basilica a bit more, mail some postcards from the Vatican post office, and buy some interesting-looking books from the bookstores.

Once we got it to St. Peter's, we had a good couple hours to explore. Beginning at 4:30, the bells of St. Peter's rang for ten minutes. It was beautiful. I didn't record the entire ten minutes'-worth of bell ringing, but I did think to record an excerpt.

While standing in line, we noticed that the crèche was officially on display, so we waited until dark to admire it and the lighted Christmas tree.

From Rome & Vatican City (December 2014)

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